The Airbus/Boeing duopoly in the narrowbody market is being challenged by Comac, Irkut and Bombardier, but it is too soon to tell if these potential rivals will be successful, according to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service.

In his 34-page report, Glennon J. Harris, a specialist in industrial policy, says Chinese, Russian and Canadian manufacturers are developing narrowbodies that represent a more radical departure from the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 families than the re-engined offerings from either company. But he also says the Comac C919, the Irkut MS-21 and the Bombardier CSeries “are inherently riskier and have not yet demonstrated that the promised benefits can be delivered.” Noting that many carriers may decide to stay with aircraft they know, Harris said, “It is too soon to know whether the newcomers will succeed.”

The report goes on to say that it is “not obvious that the civil aircraft market is large enough to sustain as many as five additional competitors.”